Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up.
Up first we have Papa Hemingway in Cuba. I’m not a Hemingway diehard so I’m not sure how true this story is, but they say it’s based on a true story. Giovanni Ribisi plays a writer who gets invited to visit Hemingway and spend time with him. Ribisi’s character wrote Hemingway a letter telling him what his work meant to him so Hemingway wants him to go fishing, eat and drink and spend time with him. They do that and more while Cuba is going through a revolution. It’s a pretty straight forward film and I think Hemingway fans will like it. It’s educational, but I don’t think it’s something I’d watch again. I don’t really see a need to. It’s entertaining enough and Ribisi is good in his role so if you are a fan of his, you’ll like it too.
Next is Horror 4 Pack from Mill Creek. This collection features 2 of my favorite horror films of the past 20 years Hostel and Hostel Part 2. It also features Hollow Man and its sequel Hollow Man 2. If you don’t own the Eli Roth films, this is a good buy. Hostel 2 might actually be better than the first, but both are highly recommended. I had never seen Hollow Man 2 before getting this and it’s not as good as the original. I really liked Kevin Bacon in the first film and the second film lacks his talent. Still all 4 films are worth watching and at Mill Creek prices, this is worth the buy if you like horror flicks.
Also from Mill Creek is 4 Movie Comedy Pack. This collection features Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The Brothers Solomon, Fired Up and Balls Out. Of the 4, John C. Reilly’s Walk Hard is the best. I liked, but didn’t love it right away. It’s slowly grown on me and is much darker than I remembered. It’s a spoof of Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic and Reilly is fantastic. Balls Out is probably the sleeper pick of the group. I’ve always been a Seann William Scott fan and he’s great in this. Plus you can never go wrong with Randy Quaid. I’m not a Will Arnett fan, but I liked The Brothers Solomon because of Will Forte and Kristen Wiig. Fired Up always felt like a 1980’s throwback with football players wanting to be with cheerleaders. It’s better than I remembered. A good price for all 4 films.
Fourth is a Gene Wilder double feature. This consists of Hanky Panky and Another You. I’ve watched a lot of Wilder films since his death and these two are recommended. Hanky Panky is Wilder with his wife Gilda Radner and Another You is Wilder with Richard Pryor which was always awesome. The first is a classic whodunit style comedy with Wilder finding himself involved with a murder mystery. Classic Wilder. The second is an underrated comedy to me. Wilder plays a mental patient who is released and gets caught up with a con-man played by Pryor. People think Wilder is a missing millionaire and the hilarity ensues. Both movies are must own for Wilder fans. I miss him already.
Fifth is The ID. I didn’t see what the big deal was about this. Pull quotes made it seem cool, I thought it was really lame. A woman takes care of her abusive father and life has gone on without her. When her high school boyfriend calls her up to invite her to a reunion, she wants to go and relive her youth. She has to deal with her sick father, but ends up getting into trouble with the law. Nothing about it was tense or entertaining. I didn’t see it as an emotionally charged nightmare or deeply unsettling. I thought it was boring and uneventful with nothing thrilling about it. Not sure what I’m missing, but it did nothing for me.
Next is Superhero Origins: Three Classic Serials. This is a pretty sweet collection of Batman, Batman and Robin and The Shadow serials from back in the day. I love watching this older stuff and seeing how far we’ve come with action/comic movies/shows. All three are entertaining and I think I’ve seen the Batman ones before. Batman is from 1943 with Dr. Tito Daka as the villain. It’s very science-y with technology of that time. Batman and Robin is from 1949. This has a lot of names we are familiar with, Vicki Vale and Commissioner Gordon, but the bad guy is The Wizard. The Shadow is from 1940 and really captures that pulp fiction style. I hadn’t seen any of these before and these must have captivated audiences back in the day. Today’s kids aren’t familiar with the The Shadow, but if you are, get this collection.
And lastly we have Tales Of Poe. An anthology movie, based on three works by Edgar Allan Poe, involving some Scream Queens (and the “Cowboy” from The Village People, Randy Jones). Should be great! Not so much. You ever watch one of those cooking competition shows, where somebody takes some great ingredients, but overdoes it to where they lose what the dish was originally supposed to be? That is this movie. Especially “The Cask” (based on The Cask Of Amontillado, one of my favorite Poe stories), where it became so overly convoluted, I completely lost interest. They even combined the characters of Fortunato and Montresor into one character, how’s that for losing the point? Not to mention the titular cask wasn’t even a part of the story besides an offhand bit of dialogue near the beginning of the segment. Tales Of Poe ends with a segment based on the poem Dreams. It basically is like an experimental art house film where occasionally lines from the poem are said over whatever is happening on screen at the time. Completely pointless and went on way too long. So in a way it was the perfect end piece because it represents the whole Tales Of Poe experience.